Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Thaw Review

The Thaw Cover

We begin our journey this with a science fiction film and boy was it creepy. Val Kilmer stars in this horror film and I must admit, it wasn't run and gun, nor was it full of similar things. I fell asleep during the previews, but once the movie started, I was ready with a cup of coffee.

The Thaw starts out with a confessional from Val Kilmer's character. Throughout the opening of the film, we are not given a full explanation of what's going on, and throughout the views we see what is going on. On a glacier, a wooly mammoth is discovered and inside it are some eggs with parasites that pose no immediate threat, at first.

The movie is a slow moving ride. To say that this is slow, is an understatement. This thing was quite slow, and will most likely have people throwing in the towel, until the second act leads to one of the best gore scenes I've seen in a long time. Sure, the gore in "The Ruins" was sick and left me uncomfortable, but nothing like this one. In this film there is a sequence so sickening and realistic that they should win an award for realism and effects of the moment. Let's just saw "Saw" has nothing on limb execution, and I will leave it at that.

The film quality is similar to that of a UK BBC production. It's more than just straight to dvd, but the "green/blue" tone of the film really makes things interesting. The way it was filmed leaves me to think that I'm watching a soap opera and the more twists and turns that occur the more I was interested in this film.

When you strip away the gimmicks, this film can be easily plotted and written about as another "Cabin Fever" type film with bugs. The premise is simply that Global Warming is thawing out fossils and some parasitic bugs can wipe out the planet because they can stay in below freezing temperatures. That's not too unlike recent news reports that certain spiders can have sub zero venom! Anyways, the film essentially locks a few scientists in a cabin as they are slowly dying, and when hope comes, it turns into an explosive scenario of "who lives and who dies", and before anyone is warned....act four goes into high gear.


Is The Thaw a Scary Film?: Yes.

The longer the movie played out, the more tense it got. The limited soundtrack, and the gore levels were quite scary. The sound that the bugs make, is eerie to me because there are bugs here in Moscow, Idaho that sound exactly like them. The idea that a bug can lay eggs inside your skin and eat you out and kill you, is a scary notion, and furthermore, if Global Warming is in fact real and there could be a thawing out of fossils in the tundra, leading to an epidemic, that's a scary notion and therefore this film is scary.

Even though the acting leaves much to be desired, I found the film effective in its minimalist approach, and I can't get over the gore sequence that nearly made me throw up. Sure the acting was odd, but the sheer terror of drastic measures and non-comedic blood flow made this film quite a scary production.

I recommend The Thaw as a very horrific film, but only to those that like slow burners. You have to invest a lot of time into this one, but once things start to break down it starts getting really good, and dare I say, Val Kilmer actually did a great job with the character. The final sequence also makes me like the film, but you'll have to watch it to find out. Click here to buy The Thaw, or rent it or's worth it.

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A writer first, cat lover second, and some other stuff too. Human, with lots of faults, and terrible communication.
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